Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday! Here’s where every week, we’ll reminisce on technologies past and get hyped for future innovations to come. Today’s subject? An early memory of using the Internet.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
I remember visiting my dad one year and using his AOL account to join some chatrooms. I was hooked! I loved how fast-paced it was and that I could chat with people all over the world. I would get challenged on my identity though since I was giving my actual A/S/L (age, sex, location) and everyone was accusing me of being a man in his forties, since I was logged in as my dad. Looking back, that must have come across as kinda creepy. I also remember my dad asking me later on what I had been doing online, since he received some pretty interesting unsolicited email. I got my own account shortly thereafter!
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
My first memory of using the internet was around 1998 — the year our family got the internet. We had an Apple computer already that my parents used to write documents, and us kids used to play non-internet based games (The Tinies! Spelunx!). So, until the internet, there had been zero fighting over who was using the computer.
My dad set me up with an email address through Optimum Online — the handle for which was my favorite children’s book at the time (because I was 12), Owl Moon. Who was I emailing at the age of 12? No idea. Maybe my dad, even though we lived in the same house.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
One of my earliest memories of using the internet was creating my first website on Geocities in 1997. My site was an abbreviated history of yo-yos as well as details on my own yo-yo collection and trick abilities, as yo-yos were extremely popular in my elementary school that year. I had tried Tripod and Angelfire, but Geocities seemed the coolest since it had so many different ‘neighborhoods’ that grouped users’ sites by topic. As I grew older, I would go on to build several sites at Geocities, each centered around my different hobbies as I grew up, before moving to a subdirectory on a friend’s domain in middle school. Blogger existed then, but it seemed kitschy even back then and I wanted the freedom to create my own (terrible, and mostly-Harry Potter-themed) layouts using Photoshop and Dreamweaver.
My Geocities sites were built while I was using AOL to connect to the Internet, but once we moved to Comcast cable Internet I used Hotmail for MSN Messenger and created a new screenname for AIM so I could talk to all the people at once. Back then, my favorite browser was Netscape Navigator and I used that until Firefox showed up in 2002.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
My first memory of using the Internet was around 1999 when my Dad got a (very large) desktop computer. I used it mostly to instant message (AIM) with friends and poke around chat rooms. I was also set up with an AOL email address which I don’t think I ever used. I do remember constantly fighting with my sisters over who would be on the phone and computer since only one could be used at a time.
Besides instant messaging I also used the Internet to play a very popular online game at the time, Doom. It was a science-fiction shooter game which I probably should not have been allowed to play at such a young age but being the rebel I was, I managed to play it at least a few times a week. My dad soon setup parental controls on his computer to limit my sisters and I.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
My dad had been working with computers since before I was born, so we had one in the house in the early 90s. The first search engine I remember seeing was HotBot in ’96. We didn’t use the internet very often for many years because the dial up connection meant we couldn’t use the phone while online. Using the internet was a treat for us kids; on slow weekend days I can remember downloading new cars for a futuristic racing game I had called Pod. The cars were about 5 megabytes each and sometimes took hours to download.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
My earliest memory of using the internet was in the late 90’s. I would sit patiently, waiting for what seemed like days, listening to the mesmerizing sound of the dial up connection until it finally made a connection. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that I could send messages back and forth to my friends in real time and remember all of the creative usernames that everyone had on AOL Instant Messenger.
My brother and I also liked to look through different skateboarding websites to get inspiration. It was cool to see how fast everything started progressing with the sport once the internet got involved and people from all over were pushing and inspiring each other.
What’s Your Throwback?
We want to hear about your Throwbacks, too! Leave a comment below to tell us all about your early Internet memories!